Peterborough businessman says Covid jab ‘saved wife’ and urges others to get vaccinated
A Peterborough business owner who says the Covid vaccine saved his wife’s life has urged people to get the jab.
Ajaz Akhtar, Managing Director of commercial catering equipment sales and service company Caterfix Limited, is now double-jabbed and actively working for the long-established firm, based in Padholme Road East.
Mr Akhtar spoke to the Peterborough Telegraph as part of Peterborough City Council’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ campaign, which urges people to get vaccinated, test regularly and follow preventive behaviours.
Anyone over the age of 18 can book online or visit a walk-in centre to get their first or second dose of the vaccine. You can now receive your second dose eight weeks after your first one.
Earlier this year Mr Akhtar (52), his wife Shamim (45) and three of his daughters caught Covid-19.
Whilst Mr Akhtar and his daughters’ symptoms were mild, his wife developed breathing difficulties and needed urgent medical treatment.
He said: “Covid affects people in different ways.
“I’m fairly fit for my age and after testing positive, I only experienced mild headaches and fever for a week or so.
“Unfortunately, my wife became badly ill and at one point was struggling to breathe.
“We called an ambulance, they came and did tests and thankfully she recovered, but it was very scary.
“We had both vaccine jabs and I am convinced that is what saved her life by stopping her condition from worsening.”
Vaccine take-up rates in Peterborough remain lower than many other parts of the country and Mr Akhtar is urging people to put any reticence aside and get the jab.
“I can understand why some people might be blasé about Covid. There’s lots of conflicting information out there and some people, especially younger ones who are fit and healthy may not be so worried,” he added.
“But let me assure you, your outlook changes when it happens to you or your family.
“Then it literally hits home and you must act or the consequences could be severe.
“Getting the vaccine is so easy.
“It is quick and painless and once you’ve had two jabs that’s it. We all want to get back to normal and this is the best way to help achieve that.”
Mr Akhtar has also encouraged his staff to get vaccinated and regularly test themselves.
“It has been a challenging time for businesses and we have ridden the peaks and troughs of the last 18 months. The lockdown meant that many of our customers, such as bars and restaurants closed and they took the time to refurbish, so we were really busy then,” he added.
“As a business we had to abide by national restrictions, which took some getting used to but were fine. My staff have been excellent, they understand the dangers and act accordingly.
“But speaking to people generally, not everyone seems so worried or wants to get the vaccine. I can only say to people, please get the jab. My wife is living proof that it works.”